The new Titan Adventure, Part 1

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It has been ten years since the events of the previous stories of Alexis and co.

The land was a mess; the gunk and offal from the summoning was slowly corrupting everything, Toreguard was in ruins and her people scattered. Then a man, a seneschal of Drakemar showed up, with a cart full of gold. Real, proper, Gold gold. With the gold came masons from Fangthane, and wood carvers from the feet of the Darkwood. All local religions were drafted in to help consecrate the ground, and the city was rebuilt from the ground up, using fine white stone. The new city gained roads, sewers, canals. A central tower was erected for government business, with a second wizard tower over the abyssal seal creating an arcane watch over it, and a standing army to watch over the whole city. Properly constructed roads, with trained patrols, stretched away from the city to the furthest reaches of Allansia.

And at those farthest reaches, Fangthane had closed it borders, needing time to sort out it’s hearth before it could deal again with the world outside it’s mountain, and there are rumours of unrest in Mythrilmar.
The people had a fresh start, a good life, and they did not want anything to screw it up. Their heros, the former champions of Toreguard, where were given an ultimatum: Retire for good, or forever be exiled from the city they had protected, and loved.

Fai chose exile; he did not trust the mysterious benefactor, and went to investigate the Drakemarie empire, while Egrim stayed at his chapel to Galana with the Gnomes and Halflings they had rescued.
Grizwald, uncomfortable in his skin and in the life he led, wandered the wilds in search of a way to win Galana’s favour, and take him back to her brightness, and Ivan was called on to return to Fangthane, but vanished along the path.
Selene and Alexis remained in Toreguard. The wizard was given the duty by her Council to manage the Watchers of the Abyssal Seal, while the former sneak kept them company, eventually developing an obsession with keeping look-out until one day she left the city, and vanished.

And now, our new story starts, as all good tales do, in a pub. The Slippery Slope is a middle road establishment and it finds our new adventures in various states.
Mistress Meredith, a cleric from Fangthane, sits with her two guardians, Nig and Nog, taking her evening meal. Daraja Drayer watches the fights. Elowen leans against the bar with her partner in law, Derren Breakwood, surveying the crowd. Alphons keeps to himself in a booth, waiting for the morning to come so he can sign on as a sell-sword; and lastly, Lorcan Drakewing sits in the corner with some fellow strolling minstrels, plucking a string or two.

While Daraja and Alphonse pay more attention to their respective interests – the ring, and a bar wench – Lorcan picks up on a strange fellow, tall and gaunt, who sits alone barely drinking, and decides he seems in need of a song. At roughly the same time, the stranger catches the eye of Elowin and Meredith, but for other reasons; The watchman dislikes his nervous twitch, and the cleric smells something not quite human about him. Gathering up his merry band of musical cohorts, Lorcan begins to play a merry tune to the sangin gent, and while he doesn’t get much sway with his target, the rest of the bar enjoys his tune.

This goes on for a while, while Daraja is watching a fight, however Alphonse finally picks up on the odd fellow, just as a big chap comes in and pins Twitchy at his table. Elowin has sent her partner out in case Twitch rabbits, but at the sight of the big man talking to Twitchy she stands, and goes over just as Twitch starts to call for help. They have a brief exchange which ends abruptly as Twitchy slips under the table and does a roll, turns and sprints out with inhuman speed. Elowin gives chase, with Meredith and Alphonse some ways behind. Derren leaps on Twitchy as he passes and tackles him to the ground.

Elowin catches up to Derran and Twitchy, where they are both lying on the ground. Twitchy is squirming with considerable strength given his stringy looking muscles. Derran yells at Elo to help him, but as she reaches for her blade, Twitchy give a mighty twist, boots Derren in the nuts and scuttles off on all fours like a cat. Elowin stands perplexed for a moment before taking off in pursuit again. Behind her Meredith catches up, checks on derren before carrying on herself. Elo chases Twitchy around a corner just in time to see him drop down a sewer hole. She glances back; she can hear Derren coming but he’s no where close, so she throws out a quick prayer and drops down into the filth herself. She goes a small way, and is surprised to see her quarry lying prone on a raised section of sewer, an orc stood over him. She announces herself as a watchman, to which the orc nods and tells her she can take it from there. As he walks away she asks what his name is and he says “Harock”. She manacles Twitchy and hauls him back up the ladder to the surface.

Derran, Meredith and Alphonse are waiting for her when she and twitchy emerge. Twitchy takes one look at Meredith and tries to twist out of Elowin’s grasp, but Alphonse and Derran grab him. Words are exchanged, and Derren takes one look around at the small ensemble and orders them all to the station. Once there the duty sergeant takes one look at Twitchy and demands a priest. Meredith introduces herself as a cleric of Moradin, and tells them what they have is a ghoul. She says she can take care of it, and Derren and the sargent both agree. Elo takes him out and locks him in the stocks, while Meredith gets out her Holy Symbol, but before she can say anything the ghoul hisses and whispers that ‘He will get you, he waits for no one’. Elo and Meredith exchange glances and she carries on with her prayer-spell. The ghoul lets out a screech and withers so that only his head remains trapped in the stocks. Elowin unlocks it, while Derren fetches a wheelbarrow, and they dispose of the body.

While this has been going on, Daraja is riling up the troops back in the bar. Twitchy was being accused of killing two dockers, and the big fellow who confronted him obviously has strong feelings about the matter. Daraja suggests maybe he can help track Twitchy, with some back-up. So with 20-odd guys in various states of drunkenness, and various ‘weapons’, Daraja leads the way through the streets to the sewer Twitchy fled down. Darja encourages the men down and says he will keep an eye on their backs. they all get down and the two groups meet and words are bandied about who’s going to kill what. Eventually Derran gets annoyed and says the other group can come with them, reasoning that more bodies means more damage done to the enemy. They walk through the sewers and pick up the Orc again, who says he thinks he knows where the ghouls have their nest and they follow him, to find a bunch of creepy mini human like things and a big creepy human-like thing that says his childer will take care of the people.

☮&♥

DnD part 50

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They pause for a breather, and apologise to Bella. She waves them off, and she and Egrim cast a bunch of buffing spells. They go to the end of the aviary to find a closed gate that is shaped like interlocking fangs. Alexis hears a wailing like desperate souls from behind it, so finds a crack to look through, but all she can see is mists of blood, and bella can’t see through magically. Grizwald finds a pulley wheel to open the gate and they go through, to see everything is slick with blood. The walls, the floor, the ceiling and the very air drip with blood that congeals on them as they go through, with Egrim convincing them it’s just an illusion.

They go up a double flight of stairs and through a door way to see more mists of blood swirling around. Along the sides of the walls are people chained, or bolted, with parts cut off their eyes and mouths forced open, seated in tiered benches like in a jury. As they watch, a man is dragged over a grating in the centre and a loud voice talks about finding him guilty. Suddenly the grating opens and the man falls screaming. Alexis sees the demon in question: a massively fat hairy creature with a boar’s head and tiny wing things. It greats them as they move into position, and begins to talk as Egrim dispels it’s darkness. Suddenly they can see it in full ‘glory’, and they look down, from the edge of the grating, into the swirling below. The rest of the group sees a spinning vortex of colour, but Alexis sees it’s true horror: miles and miles of tunnel, leading down through all the layers of hell, with all the things that dwell there reaching out for their next meal. She is snapped out of this horrific contemplation by Grizwald rushing forward and clawing at the demon ahead, while Ivan partly gets to it. Alexis looses a few bolts but then Bella finishes it off by hurling a banishment at it.

The mists and darkness fully recedes and they see the full horror of the people, from surrounding villages, as well as from Toreguarde it’s self. Egrim wants to try and heal them but Alexis tells him it won’t work and the planatar agrees. Alexis gets ready to put a bolt in each heart but the others tell her to save them, so she gets out her dagger intending to slit each throat, but Bella stops her, saying there is a better way. Alexis says Bella doesn’t need to do anything – not wanting to upset this creature of purity and goodness – but the planatar insists and she casts Prismatic Wall which quickly dissolves the people in acids.

The group then move on, and up to the next level where they over hear the necromancers talking to Yagrin the balor about them. They vanish just as the group enters. The group quickly spread out with Grizwald going left and Ivan to the right. Yagrin speaks to Ivan in dwarfish, asking him to go one-on-one with it, which he refuses, saying he couldn’t keep the rest of the group away. Yagrin laughs and says ‘very well’ and summons 4 toad demons as it vanishes. Grizwald destroys one in one hit, while Alexis and Ivan take out a second and Bella dismisses the 3rd. Finally Grizwald and Alexis take out the last demon. The group insult the balor as it speaks to them through the floor and it tells them to come on up. Alexis notices a stair behind it’s giant iron throne and Grizwald and Egrim push it out of the way. The group ascend carefully, with Egrim’s Dancing Shield out front protecting Ivan. They come to the top of the stair, and they see they have come out onto the tower’s roof. Spires of iron jut into the sky, but they pay no heed and send the shield out.  When nothing happens to it, Ivan and Grizwald move out again to the right and left. Alexis and Egrim follow, also moving to the left and right. They leave Selene and Bella in the stairwell behind Egrim’s shield. Alexis manages to draw first blood, while Ivan and Grizwald move towards Yagrin. Just as Grizwald gets to it, it swoops down and attacks Ivan. Grizwald runs to his aid as Selene tries to banish it. Unfortunately it resists her, and casts it’s own spell around Alexis, trying to affect her mind. However it fails, and Egrim turns his staff into a Treent. The treent goes forward and grapples Yagrin successfully, enabling Grizwald and Ivan to pummel it. However it is Alexis who lands the killing blow, taking it down. As a final act of defiance, the balor roars and explodes as it dies. Fortunately most of the group are either quick on their feet and are not injured or behind something. Ivan and Egrim take some damage, but the treent – and Egrim’s staff – is destroyed along with the dancing shield which Selene and Bella hid behind.

The Sword of Hextor, which the balor took from 5.6 the day the gate was opened, spins unharmed and lands embedded in the centre of the tower.

☮&♥

DnD Parts 48 and 49

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Group leave Fangthane and go back to Darkwood Forest with the Rock Druid. There, they collect the other druids and awaken the final druid, the one of Light. The druids of each element: Earth, Night, Forest, Animals and Light come together and cast a mighty awakening on the planet it’s self. Sadly their entire being is used up and they all turn to dust. However elementals and creatures of Titan all band together and start marching towards the former Toreguarde, intent on it’s destruction. While the group are still stood around, witnessing this, the Big Bad Baylor appears in the residual energy left by the awakening in order to mock the group. It doesn’t quite work though, as Ivan constantly interrupts with jibes of his own.

‘I’m sorry, who are you? No, seriously. Have we actually met?’ – Fai to his torturer

The group decide to head back to Fangthane via the blighted grove (so Egrim can fix it and get back in good with Galana) in order to pick up Ivan’s armour and for Alexis to get more bolts. They get there to find the place in up-roar, as half of Fangthane turned out to be an earth elemental, and wandered off to join the fight. They manage to get Ivan’s shield, but not his full armour and they stock up and prepare, before making the long trek to the former site of Toreguarde.

When they get there they see the whole town has been engulfed by a giant metal citadel with a tower that pulses with energy emanating from the top. Alexis, suddenly becoming unavailable, Fai uses improved invisibility to sneak himself in and take a look around. He sees foundries making flesh golems and other constructs over a grating, underneath which seems to be a massive roiling sea of people parts. He goes to the next chamber and sees an aviary of sorts, however instead of birds there are large wyvern-like beasts. Unfortunately, Fai gets caught and tortured. However, he is told that the necromancers intend to bring the Diabolic Three back. Ivan manages to sends in xorns to help free him. Fai recovers, explains and they enter. They come to One – 5.6 and 3’s ancestor who is Huge, and made out of a storm giant. The wizards hang back and cast disintegrate on the grating dropping One into the people-soup below. Grizwald and Ivan rush forward and stop it getting back up, while Alexis shoots at it’s heart that turns out to be Greydown, the annoying not-so-nice wizard they all wanted to kill.

They advance forward to the next chamber and Alexis sneaks in and sees the demon wyvern things Fai told them about.. She reports back and the others try to sneak in with her. However it all goes a bit wrong, and they are detected. The abyssal drakes swoop in and breath all over everyone, killing Fai outright and hurting Egrim and Selene severely. Selene manages to blind one drake, before she’s taken out, and Egrim uses Ethereal Jaunt so he is safe. Ivan, seeing Egrim vanish, and Selene and Fai die, turns and retreats, expecting Alexis and Grizwald to do the sensible thing and follow him. They do not. Alexis stands her ground, and looks to Grizwald. The bear looks back and nods, and between the pair of them they work on taking out two of the drakes. Egrim manages to cast Planar Ally and requests assistance from a planatar. She comes down and seeing what’s happened in turn casts Miracle, requesting assistance from her god Bahamet, who resurrects Fai and Selene and gives everyone full health. However, the god takes Bellatrix the Planatar’s immortality and wings from her, reducing her to a level 17 cleric. Egrim casts flame-strike on two drakes while Grizwald, Ivan and Alexis finish the final drakes off.

☮&♥

DnD 46 and 47

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The group land at the silver dragon aerie and are lead through to a great chamber with a great shimmering diamond in the middle. The older wyrm announces them to Aegis and retreats. The walls shake slightly as the ancient great wyrm extracts himself from the rock that has been growing around him. Egrim greats him and Aegis says he is at a disadvantage, as they know him, but not the other way around. The group introduce themselves and explain their purpose. Aegis agrees, and furthermore encourages their quest, saying that once the bargain has been paid he will personally escort them to the tree and end his feud with Everwinter, the Lady of White Scale. The group then make their donations of silver coin and other silvery items .

Aegis then leaves his cave and gives a small speech to his family, telling them that his time is coming to an end and he wishes to leave the world fighting, and he names Bulwark, his son, as his successor. He then invites the group to mount him and he flies them to the edge of the white dragon’s territory and leaves them there, saying he will provide a distraction for them so they can sneak through and find the druid and awaken him. Aegis flies off, and the group find themselves in a system of paths carved out of the rock face. They follow it for a bit before stumbling across a human encampment which offers Grizwald some meat in exchange for him not eating them (they don’t know he’s Awakened). With that done and the humans out of the way, the group start to traverse the paths, however they come up against a patrol of battle clerics. The clerics have red leather chest plates, with burgundy cloth underneath and white dragon scales on their shoulders. The group fight the clerics, and ultimately Selene manages to crush them under a wall of rock. However they lose Egrim to a fire. Alexis hacks off his right foot and stashes it for him to be resurrected later, however this now poses a problem as to how they will awaken the druid.

‘She is a perfect puddle of darkness… a puddle of knives.’

The wizards and Ivan throw on the vestments and fashion a lead out of belts to lead Grizwald, and move up towards the amphitheatre with Alexis a small blur in the back. The amphitheatre is filled with people and priests, and is carved into a bowl with paths leading from it. In the middle of the bowl white drakes and men offering tributes to the White Dragon Lady, while the greater wyrms perch, gargoyle like, on the obsidian pillars. A bell tolls and Everwinter flies in and settles herself on a dais at the very centre of the bowl.

 Aegis swoops in, says and says: ‘Winter concubine, our feud has lasted to long. I have skulked in caves too long, and I will suffer your presence no longer. Face me or hide behind your supplicants, either way your feasting will not last ‘

To which Everwinter replies: ‘Priests, attend me, kill this silver dragon, and the one who slays him will ascend to greatness. Giants kill the cowards. Old wyrm I don’t need to face you when I have these to do so for me.’

With that, several hundred men rush forward and get squished, tumbled, and otherwise dead. Next she sends the giants in, one gets nommed and the others get crushed by Aegis. Everwinter backs up and flies to a peak. Aegis grins and follows.

The group, having watched this with some fascination, are broken out of the visual spell by hundreds of other people trying to flee the amphitheatre. Priests are patrolling the crows trying to convince them to turn and fight, with limited success. Unfortunately Selene trips over her borrowed robes, drawing the attention of one who starts to yell about imposters. Fortunatly no one is taking notice of him and Grizwald gives him a swipe with his claws, knocking him over. They all flee towards an archway during which time Grizwald gets to eat the faces off a couple more priests, and Alexis finds an empty room for them to regroup in. They send the familiars, Drackle and Mika, off towards the east to scout out the rock druid for them. The poor creatures hurry best they can, and Drackle spots the tree. The group hurry to catch up with the animals who are cold from the wind and snow. Once at the ‘tree’, they all admire it’s beauty – it has a granite trunk that has been worn down to a glossy finish, and the branches sprout out of the bole, with slices of agate geodes forming the leaves. However they are still faced by the conundrum on how to awaken the druid within. It is suggested that if they can remove him from the tree, and take him back to Fangthane, he can be reawakened by one of the priests there. Alexis concentrates like never before, and manages to pick out where the druid meets the tree. She takes a dagger, and slowly and carefully using the whole of her being, starts to trace around the druid and cut him away from the tree. Meanwhile, the others keep watch and try to stay warm. After some time, they notice a dragon approaching. Fortunately it is Aegis. Alexis finishes working on the druid (her fingers are stiff from cold and exertion, and her eyes hurt from straining) and backs away. Aegis is hurt badly, Everwinter has apparently fled. The old wyrm praises them, and tells them he can help with the druid. He lets out a low noise and slowly the tree begins to crack and the druid is able to walk free easier thanks to Alexis’s work. Sadly Aegis says his final goodbye, and breaths his last, as the druid fully wakes. They miss each other by seconds, and bring Alexis and the wizards, to tears. The druid is solemn in his appreciation as to why they woke him, and also mourns the loss of Aegis.

However, he urges them to hurry back to Fangthane, which they do, arriving to confused priests in the main square. Alexis calls out for a cleric and hands over Egrin’s right foot, and a diamond to a priest of Moradin. They say it will take some time, so the group first head to the library to repay their debt to Derek, then to McMurty’s for some rest.

☮&♥

DnD Parts 44 and 45

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The group first find a jeweller’s and Egrim purchases 5 diamonds for resurrection spells (since they are using so many), then they head to the temple of Moradin where the clergy give them 32 healing potions. Out in the square, the ‘temple’ to the white lady is being pulled down, and the papers burned. They read one and discover they were being called on to revolt and disregard all dwarf traditions. Ivan says it’s like a cult of ‘do what I say cuz boobs’ which reminds Alexis of her corset of slackjaw, which gets them all thinking about where it came from and the beings that were using it before Alexis had it, which leads Selene to conclude it’s a succubus that is behind this cult. However they are tired and hungry, and Ivan wants to drink so they go back to McMurty’s pub with a crowd of 90 or so hangers on. Ivan is treated like royalty, and while he Alexis and Selene get merry, Grizwald and Fai leave to get more reagents and arrange travel to the last druid.

Fai meets a gnomish wizard who sells him some stuff to banish demons, along with some other things. While he is in the shop, Grizwald asks someone about transport arrangements, and they mention as well as the pony and carts, the engineers have made some things. Grizwald naturally disapproves, but when Fai comes back he wants to see the contraption. So off they toddle, and see a Zeppelin like thing with lots of cannons and lightning elementals in it. They meet the captain who is bat-shit crazy, who tells them this is the fastest thing on Titan. He also says it’s a prototype and they would be test subjects. Fai and Grizwald go back to the others who are pretty drunk. Alexis annoys Grizwald, Selene is singing and Ivan is relishing his glory. Fai and Grizwald try and tell the others what happened but decide to leave it till the next morning.

Over a hero’s breakfast, helping sober them up, the others are told about the flying machine. Selene Ivan and Fai like the idea but Grizwald doesn’t, and Alexis is dubious, remembering that time with Raxis, so she asks Fai to take them to see the wizard first, then see the machine.

They go to see Balthazar, the Gnomish wizard, and obtain two scrolls of Mass Teleport Without Error. They then discuss what else they need to do and decide to go see a leather-worker about something for getting Grizwald health potions, and some info about the dragons and the area of the mountains they will be visiting.

They find a leather-worker who jerry rigs a back-pack water-skin with a valve on it for Grizwald, and says it will take a few days. While they wait they go back to the pub and find a dwarf named Old Derek who keeps Fangthain’s library. He helps Selene and Fai find books on where the silver and white dragons territories are, and Selene finds out the lord of the silver dragons is called Aegis, and that they like silver shinies, like mirrors and pearls. They are finishing up and thanking Derek for his help (for which he asks a white and silver dragon scale) when a deep horn goes, followed by a steam whistle.

They hurry outside to find if they are being attacked again and they are told that the ship is being launched. The hurry and follow the throng of people and see the large Zeppelin like thing trundling down the main street towards to exit doors. On board Fai points out the captain. There are also two others with him, a dwarf with a huge crossbow and another with battle cleric robes. Alexis nudges the nearest dwarf and asks who they are and is told they are part of the Demon Face-Smashers group, Fai asks where they’re headed and is told that the group heard about Toreguarde from Ivan and decided to go there. Fai takes off suddenly and climbs on to the deck, with the others close behind. There he tries to talk them out of going, highlighting the danger which doesn’t seem to phase them. Alexis breaks it down in to simple questions:

  • Do you want to die?
  • Are you okay with dying horribly and painfully
  • Are you actually lunatics?

To which the answers are:

  • Eh not bothered,
  • Sure,
  • Quite probably.

It’s clear they aren’t going to be talked out of going, and they say they have a special holy bomb, blessed three times over and filled with good divine power and holy water. The group make doubly sure the captain and all understand what they’re getting into and it seems they are taking everything into account. They also mention Old Red, and Alexis says if they do kill him to bring her a trophy. So with reluctance, and many good wishes the group disembark and leave them to their devices. They head back to McMurty’s and drink till the leather worker has finished. Then they sober up Ivan, drag him away from his adoring public and teleport them all the the mountains of the Silver Dragons.

The group arrive in a blizzard. It is bitingly cold and visibility and hearing is almost nill. Alexis manages to hear two winged creatures approaching and sees two juvenile grey coloured dragons and an elder approaching. One of the juveniles lands close and they are almost knocked off. Selene offers it a silver coin and after deciding they’re no threat, it takes the coin and goes to argue with it’s sibling. The ancient wyrm settles himself down and they explain why they are here and that they want to make a bargain with Aegis. The older dragon acquiesces and then (after Grizwald scolds Lex’s lack of decorum again) takes them on his back to the dragon’s aerie

☮&♥

DnD parts 41-43

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With this, the group leave Edwin, the Ents and druid to take care of granny’s seed apple. As they descend into Fangthane, Egrim tells the others about his conversation with the Coincide of Galana, who confirmed that the Cult of the White Lady has already taken hold at Coven, and say also that animals are being subjected to demonic possession. They also say that the group might be able to find help with silver dragons, and mention they have a smell like rain. Then there is a massive deep horn and the group see thousands of dwarves shaving their hair and beards and painting woad on their bodies, as the whole mountain (the very young and old aside) turns into slayers. The group hurry through to see the king, where Alexis asks about Ivan’s banishment. The king is mournful of what happened and says the banishment is over, and Ivan is now the mountain’s champion. He calls for the stone carver to set it down and then sends a runner out to find Ivan and let him know. The king, tattooed, shaved and woad-ed, leaves his chambers and the group follow down to the gates of fang, where Ivan is waiting with his shamblers, having been fund. The king apologises and Ivan accepts his role in the battle. His gavel lights up and Moradin pops out and incinerates the dretch, and then Ivan leads them in the charge, the rest of the group and the dwarves behind him. Alexis sees the guy she tried to incinerate earlier and points Ivan towards him. The group engage his foot solders, armites and grizath.

They battle for some time and eventually defeat the demons, however they loose Grizwald again, while the elf and the second troop of demons move on before the fight ends. The group take a well deserved rest in the rope trick

After they all heal up and exit the rope trick, Alexis scouts around and sees a group of mithril elves. The wizards cast fireball and acid ball from a far distance, while the others move up and take out the four Blackguards. While they are looting the corpses, Alexis sees a bad guy fleeing, shoots at him but misses and he gets away. On the bodies of the elves they find a note:

Dathurus: I entrust you with the remained of this campaign while I return to our dark master. Once you have finished here return to Toreguarde for our master has completed his final works. Balemere

Lex reads it out and Egrim asks who Dathurs is, and Alexis says probably the guy that escaped. Grizwald yells at her, but she shrugs and says there probably wasn’t anything they could do. She proceeds to loot the armour from the blackguards to give to the dwarves. In the process she discovers Xanthril’s severed head which she pulls out to disgard and makes everyone retch.

The group then cast around and see a small huddle of dwarves across the mire of battle. They make their way over, just as a group of beardlings come out. The beardlings part and the prince comes through, and asks Ivan’s permission to be crowned. He gives a small speech as an ‘of course’. The prince then reinstates the honour of the 30 remaining slayers and asks them to be his new council. Alexis offers the armour to the dwarves but Egrim blurts out they are pure evil and the beardlings freak out and Alexis has to hold on to it. With that they all retreat into the mountain for some rest and relaxation.

☮&♥

DnD Part 40

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The group come through and see granny apple is indeed sick. Silver ick drips from her branches and as she tries to great them, she spis out a glob of the stuff. Lex rushes over and tries to comfort her, but the ent tells her to back away. Just then a shimmering creature, dark cloak billowing, turns up and mocks them, saying even the Mighty Pommestra couldn’t save herself from him. Then a human/ metal scorpian construct, with the same silver liquid in it’s tail, scuttles out of the tree as the cloak guy vanishes. They defeat it fairly swiftly, but granny apple ttells them to run, as something really bad is coming. Suddenly her bole spilts open and a horrific greasy monstor with tenticles and horns part way clibs out, and screaches. Ivan, who shows up on a shambler despite his banishment, gets really angry and runs at it and hits it with his gavel, saying ‘i am fed up of all these damn demons showing up, ruinig my day, and making us have to flee.’ The group attack as well, and fai manages to enfebble it’s mind, but not before it implodes grizwald. Sel then casts disintergrate at it. It vanishes, sadly disintergating granny apple at the same time, and shoots out beams of light in it’s death throws, catching most of the remaining group and killing fai and mika.
Egrim rushes up to help edwin resurect griz, fai and mika, while the high preists of thof aviana and moradin, followed by the guildmaster or explosives come up. Fortunatly lex and others hear them coming and tell ivan to leave. When the dwarves learn of granny’s death and ivan’s role they say they are shamed and cut their hair off to begin life as Slayers. While they are mourning the ent’s death, and the clerics are resurecting people, a black crow comes and lands close to the group, telling sel not to worry that the pommestra is gone, and calming egrim who is very upset the tree is gone. The crow turns into he who shifts, who lifts out of the earth a massive apple. He slices down it’s center to reveal a golden core, and hands this to edwin saying that Granny’s spirit is in there and will grow again with the correct attention.

☮&♥

DnD Parts 38 and 39

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The next day ashwood takes the group to the tree of silver and gold. The group walk through a much older section of the forest and through a large brier patch where they come accross a copse of the metalic trees. The outer trees move to protect the tree in the center when the group tells them they come in peace,the trees move apart and egrim wakes the eldar druid by name. Treespeaker wakes and steps forward, demanding to know who woke him. Egrm announces himself and say treespeaker was woken as part of a force against the demons. Treespeaker asks who woke the demons and after a hesitation egrim says it was the cabal of necromancers. Treespeaker asks why he hesitated and as egri starts to say it was his fault, alexis interups and says it wasn’t. She idetifies herself and explains what happened and treespeaker agrees it wasn’t egrims fault. He asks about granny apple and egrim says lex met her. The group then ask if he knows the name and whereabouts of the other eldar druids, and he mentions that he only knows of Lazor, ‘he who shifts with the seasons’ who has found them. They then notice there are many furrred beasts surrunding the copse. Griz steps forward and the ring of beasts allow him to walk through thier ranks towards a huge dire bear. Griz waits till he smells human, half orc scent in the ever changing smells of the bear before he says why they are here and why they want to wake the eldar druids. Lazor ‘asksm who woke treespeaker and egrim is beconed forward. Lazor then asks egrim to say the itonment of galana in order to verify that he is of the faith and egrim does so, as follows:

Oh blessed mother of the earth
I entreat to you 
I will uphold your will And protect your kingdom
But seak to drive out abominations and those who wold do it harm
Blessed light, only creator of nature, Give myself unto you and only you
Blessed be galana and her kingdom. 

The bearr sighs and shrinks inot a half orc with a fur cloak and a staff with a larg fang attached (different to the tree druids, who all have cloaks of leaves). He afirms he will help them, and lend his support. Griz and egrim tell the others. They ask griz to ask about the other eladr druids but lazor only knows of one, in the mountains arouund the white dragonn flight territory. He is feldspar of the stone and geodite tree. However because of thje danger and the inefficenty alexis says they should find the others before venturing into the frozen mountains. The others agree and lazor offers them a bear ride back to the thinking stone, where the group ask therin if he knows of either the multch druid or the night druid. He says feldspar will know of the night druid, but the multch druid, whos name is Lord deciduous, the great composter, lives in a hollow at the far south of the forest.
After a good night’s sleep the group set out again. As they get closer to the composter’s realm the forest gets more ragged, but not in the same corrupt manner they saw before. When they arrive they see shambling mounds, as well as Otyugh and Tendriculos. Alexis sneaks forward to get a better look intto the pit and sees a large mound in the center that the shamblers seem to be pushing detritus towards. She becons egrim forward, and motions taking his plate armour off so as not to attract the attention of the creatures. After a little confusion he understands and does so, before also sneaking forward. Lex points to the mound in the center, and the both slide down the side of the pit to get closer. However as egrim is figuring out if he is close enough to wake decidious, a shambeling mound gets too close and tries to taset them. Lex shoots it and it screams and they find themselves surrounded. Giz leaps down and pumels some, as lex shoots some more and egrim runs and tries to get closer for his spell. Ivan leaps down as well and reminds egrim that he can command the creatures as they are plants. He does so and the mounds carry him towards the sucking gulping mass of detritus in the center. He casts the spell to awaken decidious and it works.

Lord decidious awakes, with a staff of fungi and a cloak of mulch and egrim once agains explains their purpose. Decidious agrees he’s felt the corruption and that even now much of it focuses of fangthane and that granny apple is sick. The group decides that they should probably head straight there and help out. They know ivan can’t step inside the mountain, so the others wind-walk over while he walks. They arrive a few miles from the mountain’s base and see a bunch of pavilions lined up near by with bad guys talking. Over the mountain swarm dark elves, mythril elves, identified as the Kalos clan, and demons (dretch and toad demons) with assistance of part metal constracts.
The others leave to windwalk into fangthane and alexis stays behind to listen to the generals talking. Thier conversations amounts to:

Elf: “I think you’re stupid”
Golocx the Toad Demon: “Well I think you’re stupid. My plan will work. Even now our infiltrators are doing bad things to the Druid Circle and the Ironmonger’s Guild.”
Elf: “Fine. And then we summon the greater evil thing?”
Golocx: “Yes. I still think you are an insignificant imp, but I now I leave for I have more important things to do.”

As they finish talking and the toad walks away, the elf walks into his tent. Lex decids to try and take him out. She shoots him, and then sets fire to his barrels of alchohol. She then windwalks to fang, pursued by giant black hawks, as he comes out with intent to squewer her.

When she arrives at fang, she tells the others what she heard. However they miss seeing the brids, as they are shot by the guards, and in her haste she forgets to tell them about the fire. They hurry down to the forge area the see about the cultists and to go see edwin and tell him about the cultists in the druids. On their way they are amushed by a group of cultists. They are shot at, swiped by paws, frozen, fried and hit with a stick into submission. They kill all but one who tells them about the pale lady. Grizwald stands over dwarf cultist, breaths bear breath and roars. ‘Now If you please, tell me why you’re here’ Pale lady, on pink background with gold border. She told them elves are there to help, that moradin forsook them, all the iron mongers are using their iron to praise her.
Some actual dwarven guards come by and tell them about the temple to the pale lady, and how it’s so heavily fortified. The group then windwalk over to the temple of galana, on the way seeing how fortified the other temple is. Edwin greets them happily and lex tells him about what she heard. Egrim says he will use the scrying pool to contact the druids and warn them, and also to tell the other galanites about whats happening. In the mean time edwin tells them granny apple has developed some kind of malady he is struggling to cure. He opens the portal to her part of the mountainside and the group go through.

☮&♥

DnD Parts 35-37

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-party spends night partying-
Ivan: “who do I wake up next to?”
GM: “you wake up on furs”
Grizwald: “get off!”

The next morning lex asks elmwood what the plan is and he says he doesn’t have one and feels like a total fraud in his position. He agrees with grizwald that going to castle dire and taking the town of highcreek with them is a sound plan and asks the party to accompany them.
They speak to the mayor of highcreek and they all head off to castle dire. However when they arrive they find the castle taken over.
The group leave the towns folk behind and creep forward.
There has clearly been a battle as bodys of the army litter the ground which are being collected by teams of constucts lead by chasme demons. There are other constructs and slaves cuting down many of the trees leading up to castle dire, and in the distance lex spots a strange construction come out of the castle it’s self. It seems like a large metal cross with bodies hung from it. She points it out to sel and fai, and fai determins it’s some kind of tree of woe and is being used an energy store, and sel adds it’s probably storing energy for a portal of some kind due to be opened, and the people on it are the members of the wizards council. Lex and fai note that the constructs bear resembalance to the ones they saw in the old world, and coupled with the info from before, the group can only assume the necromancers they faught before have come over and teamed up with demons to take over a new land. They back trace their steps, and report to elmwood who gibbers again. Lex thinks the party might be able to do sothing but not with all the people in tow, so fai suggests hiding them someplace. Lex racks her brain and fnally comes up coven, a hamlet in the woods in the moonstone hills, close but not overly lose to trolltooth pass. Elmwood agrees this sounds ideal so they turn and head there.

Several days later, and they come to the village to be greeted by Arack, the warden. They tell him their plight and he ushers them in where they met marath who is the leader of the small druidic council there. They repeat their plight, and he summons his council and the party (leaveing the rest in the square outside) convines with them.
They talk and explain what happened and the druids offer their vilage for the other survivors to stay and as a muster point. Then the elder takes grizwald and egrim aside and tells them about Therin brentwood ooold druid, lives in forest of night by largest tree with iron bark and ruby leaves and Treespeaker, lives in tree of gold n silver and can rouse ents. They then all get settled and eat and drink. Next morning grizwald dunks everyone in a buket of water and they prep for traveling into darkwood to yasty’s house where they talk to living crockery
—-
The group take tea with the sentient crockery, while sel talks to the books to find out information on the demons and see if they can suggest any weapons to find to defeat the evils. She finds a book about a holy glave, hidden in the forset of night. Lex eventually gets bored and wanders upstairs to take a look around, and finds a semi-sentient cudgle and a book about elder trees and druids both of which like her. At the same time, fai and egrim find a scrying pool which wants their attention. They see a pile of bodies, and a small bird, and a forest decaying. Suddenly sel hears a trilling from outside and opens the window to see the brid fai saw in the pool. Drackle says someone needs them and the group go out and follow it to see a pile of bodies that have been attacked by somthing nasty. They hear groaning from under the pile and pull out Sylven, a female fighter. She tells them she was with a merc band who were tracking a demon when they got attacked, but she did’t remeber much else aside she heard somone say they were going to forets of night. Fai suggests they bury the bodys so while the menfolk do that, sel and lex take slyv back to the tower to clean up and eat. They spend the night there and set of for the forest in the morning with grizwald pulling a cart with them in. It takes a few weeks but they arrive at the forest and see along the way dead things have not been staying dead. When they get to the forset it is clear all is not well; the trees are sick and dying the dead are moving and following the stranger. They met an ent called ashwood who recognizes their quest to find the glave of the last cruisader. He leads them through the forest to the first of the elder trees/ druids, where he asks egrim to waken the druid who has become part of the tree. The elder druid thanks him, and tells ashwood to lead the group on, and he will catch up once he has regained strength. Ashwood does as bade and leads them to a clearing, lined with luminus fungi like lanterns, where fellow ents stand in court.

The group sit themselves on a rock in the middle of the clearing and alexis asks them about waking and/or taking the last crusader and his weapon to battle. The ents tell her is is not possible as he can only be woken by the gods themselves. The group says the understand and the ents as if they can take care of the blighter. They are told he is a short distance to the noth, and the group agree and grizwald tracks the blighter to a deap piit that once held the roots of a great tree. On the outside of the pit, small undead and decaying creatures squirm and writhe, while close to the center larger beasts pace. In the very center is the bighter, a mortal man. Lex wants to shoot him outright but grizwald reminds her of the ents words and says he will speak to the blighter, and see if he will redeem himself. Grizwald enters the pit and talks to the blighter. The blighter said that because bad stuff happens to nature, and nature doesn’t retaliate, then what better way to teach people the importance is to help nature be destroyed. He clearly doesn’t want to be redemed so griz gives the signal and lex shoots and kills him in 3 hits. All the animals redie and lex and fai go down and scope out the body. They are just done looting when ashwood and freinds show up quite pissed off and throw large rocks on the blighted pit. Silently the other ents vanish and leave the group more than a little shaken by their ferocity. Ashwood appologises and leads them back to the clearing where they settle down for the night.

☮&♥

DnD Parts 31-34

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‘we live in toreguard, it might as well be called target’

Sel takes a look at her freinds and sees them all stuck. She casts dispell and frees them all, and they come out of their groggyness, to see an empty, plain room with runed tiles accross the floor. Sel tells them the floor is made of runes the same as before and so clair turns into a spider, making a silk rope bridge for them to climb over. The drop down on the other side and make their way up the next staircase. They are cofonted by a long glass case on a golden plinth, surmounted on a dias. Behind the dias, on the far side of the room, there stands two hooded figures next to a kneeling one. One look tells them the thing in the glass, now a tank of sorts, is otherworldy and seemingly asleep. The robed figures lift their heads andthe group see as much as guess, they are the pair of demons. At this point there is the sound of something resonating on claire and the thing in the box, which lex guesses is the plane seed, and that the group has walked right into the demons hands; that they want the plane seed and this creature to make an evil plane. Between them they have a corrulpted diva, who at their encouragment stands and approches the dias. The group start to bicker about how best to handle it, while it reaches the glass tank and starts to pry the lid off. At this point the group reaches a discision, their fear of what might be in the glass box over riding what they want to do about the demons and the croupted diva. Claire changes to a polar bear and glomps the diva, while lex tries to shoot it to distract it and ivan stuns it with his hammer. Sutably stunned, elgrim dispellsthe evil within it, and it collapses sobbing while the demons vanish. The group go to the glass box and try to decide what to do with the thing inside. Ivan asks the hammer and moradin apperars and tells them it is a god-child who was seperated from it’s seed when it hit titian. He says the choice to release it is up to the group. They hold a vote and all say release it and give it the seed. Moradin negates the runes holding it and they talk to it and it asks what they want, lex tells it why they came and it makes all demons go back to hell. It asks what else and fai says something about dragonsbut the others shush him, and then explain about how people grow though adversity and how you can’t have light without shadow. It nods and says it will meditate on this and vanishes. Then the guardian of the temple shows up and says since they have beaten all the tests and released the god-child so it renders the temple useless. Cracks start appering in the floor, as claire calls for the group to be sent home. The guardian rasies his staff and bangs it ont eh floor as ivan cries out: Wait, what about…

They land in toreguard square with ivan yelling ‘the diva’. They are helped out of their pile by supprised onlookers, and in the far distance they see a spear of light and a plume of dust as the temple collapses. The group all sigh and sag and look around at each other.

“I need a bath,” alexis says.

“I need a drink” ivan and egrim say

“I need to check on the library,” sel says and fi follows

Later they all meet up at the plot hook to find orock has bought the place, given it some new features and made it look oriental. Lex almost has apoplexi, but they eat and drink and find out sort of what has been happening. Sel tells them greydown has heard murrumurings of a sith cult in town, and alexis is very unhappy about it. They also discuss leaving 5.6 to stay in the town to help defence.

==

The group finish their dinner and go to bed. Next morning, they all meet up and see captain elmwood. They tell him what has happened in their travels, and he fills them in on what has been happening since they were absent – about how things were looking up, lots of people showing up and whatnot, and then how people started dissapering. He says he would look into it if all his men hadn’t vanished. The group assure him it’s fine and they will look into it. They then split up and say they will meet back at the pub in a couple of hours. Lex and egrim go to the church to check up on the woodlings and the church it’s self. The woodlings are doing fine, and settling in well. The avanites have left, but left some things (Archway bough, bountiful bush (dired feild rations), deep bough, (burrows and creates a well), embalming herbs, purifying herbs, internment root (gentle repose), ward root(grows ents), scrying seed (grows a scrying pool)) for egrim to help the church grow (litteerally). Egrim goes to check on the feilds.

Claire, sel and fai head to see the gnomes and how they are getting on and while they are alright for the most part, one of them who was hanging around with the red company has gone missing.

They head back and cross paths with lex who was headed to the pub and they swap info. Lex gets pissed off with captain arackus and they part ways again, with clair going with lex instead.

Fai and sel head to the library where fai gets a telling off from greydown for loosing the staff of the magi, and an offer for redemption in the form of creating his own magic imbued item. Lex starts to yell at aracus, but he gets shifty and says not here. She invites him to her house and yells a bit more. Then he tells her that a man called Hengrix has been subverting his army and subordinate officers for about a month and he stepped up his game here in tourguarde to the point where he is only captain in the loosest sense. He then summons his pocket mage who says the man might not even be a man as he can’t be read. Lex whines and the pocket mage suggests the town might be built on a locus of some kind wich draws danger to it.

He then looks at claire and says something about her knowing somethiing about that. Which draws lex’s attention. Claire reveals that her name is really wren and she doesn’t look like what she looks like. She then indicates her dissatisfaction with the group and lex dismisses the red company men and she and wren go back to the pub where lex makes wren tell everyone about hiding who she os and why she hadn’t yet revealed herself. They all have a deep heart to heart about why they are heros and do what they do and how they can be a family. They then leave wren to her thoughts while they share what else they have learnt. Sel says that poften lizard and snake mean can be resistant to magic and the other name for snake people is the carth. Alexis goes very pale and says that replite people like reptile demons, and then starts panicing about myrr coming back for her. She wants to go stik a knife in hendrix right there and then, but sel stops her, saying she and fai might not be able to help if these tings are resistant to magic. Lex agrees for them to go back to the library first to reserch. The others leave but sel says to wren she can come with and help them, or she can stay here and settle down, it’s her choise. Then sel leaves wren alone in the bar to make up her mind.

‘he looks at you with contempt *sticks middle finger up*’

Wren considers things for a while, before taking off with no goodbyes. Meanwhile in the library, sel and fai find out there are three types of carth and the grup are probably up against a lesser carth. Alexis is anxious to go kill hengrix, so sel tells her the wizzards might not help much but they’ll come anyway. Alexis leads the group to the old baracks, which stand oddly empty. They descend into the dungeons where they are met with a river of blood and gore. At middle of the corridor they see a small figure gargling in the blood. They hurry over as fast as they can withougt slipping and see it’s gerald. They heal him and sel takes him back to the gnome tower while the others move on. There is a door slightly a jar and lex sneaks up to see instead of hengix, the cleric of eronius doing all the killing. She waits and listens to him gloating while egrim buffs her crossbow and they all ready themselves. When they are ready she slams the door open shoots the cleric through the throat and steps to the side while ivan walks in with the fury of moradin and kills everything. They then capture the cleric and question him to find out that the town is over a locus and the minions of ssith are using the blood bath to feed the locus and open a portal to the Pit. They nock him out and the paldin’s leader takes him away. They try to clear the blood away and in doing so notice a set of stairs. They wait for sel to get ack before investigating fully. She uses detect magic and as they go down the stairs the magic gets stronger till they see a massive chanmber with a dark monolith in the center. Standing at it’s base are a bunch of skeletons that fai crushes under some mud-if-ied stalagtights. There is a red crack in the monolith that gets a touch wider and through comes a lizardy woman thing with several arms – a maralith. The group prepare and set a battle plan ( ivan take her front, lex tak her back, egrim consecrate and wizards harras and protect egrim), and get ready to fight.

‘hop on old lad,’ ‘…what?’ ‘just do what the bear tells you!’

The group start to engage the marlith who summons some dretch. They dispatch the dretch in the meantme a celestial bear is summoned by sel to assist and a seemingly random grizzly wanders in, and tells egrim he’s been sent by avanites to help out. The new bear also wades in and helps ivan out while fai uses magic to help. Egrim creeps around the marlith and the monolith and consecrates the area. Unfortunatly whatever is on the otherside of the portal takes offense and desecrates the area. Sel calls on the elements of magic to dispell this desecration which works. However the vying powers cuse the monolith to super heat and it explodes. Egrim blinks over to grizwald the new bear and ivan and windwalks them out, while fai and sel teleport out to the town square leaving lex to run out on her own. As she does the monalith explodes and the roof of the cave collapes, taking half the town with it. She lands at sel’s feet just as the hole settles. They see however that the library and town hall are teetering on the brink of the hole and that as demons swoop out the books fall in. Greydown flees leaving sel stricken, elmwood stunned and the others eyeing a suspcious dark bat shape…

The party is divided on what to do next, with some shocked, others needing a drink and still others wanting to gather townsfolk up and move out imediently. Lex takes control and tells orock to take elmwood and whoever else he can find to the back corner of the town and help them escape. The slayers, at ivan’s behest, go as well with the promise that they can come hit things later. Just then as alexis is looking around she sees a small figure on thed other side of the hole clomping towards where the balor hovers. The colour drans from her face as she sees it look up and waves at the balor, then hefts a large oddly sharp looking sword. She screams as the balor swoops down lower and bathes 5.6 in flame. He frowns at the balor and becons it closer. It produces it’s own vorpal sword and they do battle, as the group stand enthralled and agahst. Another scream finds it’s way from alexis as the balor takes of 5.6’s head and it lands in a burning heap at her feet. The golem defeated, the balor flys up again as two vrocks swoop down with instructions to take his body away, but alexis is having none of it. She slaps sel back into action, and the group engage the vrock, with alexis killing one, fai and sel the other and ivan the drech that one of the vrock summon. While egrim summons a solar, with grjizwald protecting him, the others hurry over to 5.6’s body. First they try to re attach his head, but the flesh slips of the bone like so much well cooked beef. Then as they are pondering, a flickering in the sky attracts their attention. The balor is conversing with the etherial spirits of the necromancers from the old world. They say they have found the body of the golem 1, 5.6’s lost brother, and they need the heartstone from 5.6 and blood sacrifice. The balor assures them 5.6 is down and he is retriving the control matrix, and the group watch as giant spider things start to slay penned in town folk, knowing there is nothing they can do to help them. The group then look around and see more dretch coming their way. Alexis runs to the plot hook and retrives the poker and coal shovel while ivan takes out the dretch. Egrim finishes casting and the solar apperes, then takes to the sky to slay the balor. While alexis scrapes out 5.6 chared remains the balor uses hextor’s old blade to slice the solar’s head off. Lex eventualy pulls out the control crystal of 5.6, which has a huge flaw in it. She hands it to grizwald asking him to break it, but he says he isn’t strong enough and the group decide to bolt. As they do so, hezrou demons begin pulling themselves out of the pit followed by more dretch and other horiffic things. They run to the church, where orock and the slayers made an exit for egrim to retrive his seeds, and the woodlings and gardener gnome who have been hiding there. The slayers hurry them through the hole and run off to join the fight. They leave, taking one last look at their town.

The group join the other refugees and they travel to highcreek, the nearest village where alexis’s face is known and ask to stay the night. They try to tell the mayor about what happened but he is being a bit dense so fai looses his temper and shouts out they’re all doomed to which the villagers run away and slam their doors. Alexis tries reasoning with them but only one door opens, an middle aged lady named maude. She takes in their band of 47, feeds and puts up some of the frailer ones, whilst taking a shine to ivan. Lex buys some more bolts from her son, and then she and ivan remember about the treasures and artifacts back in her home with mortification, while sel and fai discus getting to yasty’s tower in darkwood for knowlage and maybe to find greydown. Poor egrim is in shock at getting the solar killed, and blames himself for causing the hole in the town.

☮&♥